7/26/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

VW I.D. R & 3D

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car didn’t set the record for just electric vehicles. It set the record, period.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car, an electric vehicle that has a output of 500 kW and 650 Nm of torque, smashed the record for wending its way up on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, when driver Romain Dumas powered the car up the peak in 7:57.148 minutes, 16 seconds faster than the previous record, which was set by Sébastien Loeb in 2013.

VWIDpike

The I.D. R Pikes Peak didn’t set the record for just electric vehicles. It set the record, period.

So, what do you think the team cites is a major factor in this record-setting performance?

Chances are, you didn’t guess “3D printing,” yet according to Dr. Benjamin Ahrenholz, Head of Calculations/Simulations at Volkswagen Motorsport, 3D printing made a huge contribution to the success of the vehicle.

The car was developed in about eight months. Needless to say, aerodynamics are critical to the performance of it (or any other) vehicle. So they a significant amount of time testing the aero in a wind tunnel.

Ahrenholz: “When we were in the wind tunnel with the 1:2 scale model of the I.D. R Pikes Peak, we gained a lot of time by using 3D printing.”

VW3D

He explains, “We made about 2,000 individual parts for the wind tunnel model in the 3D printer, sometimes with several printers working at the same time.”

The printed parts were less than 20 inches in length. So because the rear wing was bigger, it was fabricated out of aluminum for the 1:2 model.

The model was tested, and adjustments were quickly made as required.

The actual race car actually used 3D printed parts. They were small parts—like some brackets for cables and switches—but they were on the record-setting car, just the same.

Hand holding a crystal ball

We’d rather send you $15 than rely on our crystal ball…

It’s Capital Spending Survey season and the manufacturing industry is counting on you to participate! Odds are that you received our 5-minute Metalworking survey from Automotive Design and Production in your mail or email. Fill it out and we’ll email you $15 to exchange for your choice of gift card or charitable donation. Are you in the U.S. and not sure you received the survey? Contact us to access it.

Help us inform the industry and everybody benefits.

RELATED CONTENT

  • 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue

    A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.

  • Building by Bonding: BMW, the i3 and Carbon Fiber

    BMW brings carbon fiber into mass production: reducing vehicle weight, parts, and production time.

  • Chip Foose: Humble Genius

    Scene 1After speaking at Detroit's Cobo Hall during the North American International Auto Show, Chip Foose seems genuinely taken with the evident adulation of the audience, and takes the time to answer every question and sign autographs.The second oldest child and only male in a family with four kids, Chip Foose was born in Santa Barbara, California, on October 6, 1963.